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“Another great dive trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel

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El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel
Small Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 51 Hotels in Puerto Galera
HK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Another great dive trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

I am continually blown away by the amazing service and great food at El Galleon. The diving was amazing and the dive team professional, thoughtful and fantastically friendly. We went over Easter weekend which I thought would be really hectic, but in fact everyone made us feel very special - as always. This time we stayed at their annex which is a lovely private villa area. I guess I prefer staying in the main resort, but to be honest I don't mind where I stay with these guys as long as I get the chance to head down to El Galleon again this year - great job guys!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Hong Kong, China
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

The food here is excellent. The rooms are reasonable and lovely. The staff members are always there for you, extremely generous and helpful. The private transport which picked me and my friends up in Manila has been guaranteed with smooth and swift transition! Nice!

Also went for a Discover Dive with Asia Divers in the Coral Garden of Puerto Galera. The Dive Masters are very professional here. It has been a nice time underwater!

El Galleon is such a nice place to spend your vacation.
But one thing you must pay attention is the pricing of the rooms, if you speak local language it would be way cheaper.

Room Tip: Pool side rooms are without views. The lowest pricing rooms must be switched daily. So you might hav...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The short review: Stay here, eat here, dive here, and drink here (after 5:30 p.m.)

The longer review: Perfectly situated along a rocky strand (with an amazing, aircraft carrier of a dock), El Galleon is a no frills resort aimed at people who love to dive. The rooms are spare bordering on Spartan, but they are clean, cool, and offer a mini-fridge in which to store your stash of mangosteens. And let's face it: we're not here to spend time in our rooms, we're here to dive. The resort staff is attentive and friendly and they go out of their way to learn your name. If you are lucky, Alma will bring you coffee in the morning. We had a 'full board' package which meant three meals a day. The chef -- a Corsican -- is indefatigable, imaginative, and devoted to making sure you get enough to eat. Eggs to order in the morning, buffet meals for lunch and dinner. Among the culinary highlights -- a variety of curries and chutneys, and decadent green-lipped mussels. I detected a little butter in the sauce.

I give 5 stars to the diving operation, the most professional, well-organized dive operation I have ever encountered (I've been diving 23 years). Once you arrive you never have to deal with your gear again. The staff takes care of everything both on the boat and off. (Okay, you have to rinse your own wetsuit.)

Our group did the majority of its diving guided by two Yorkshiremen and a Canadian ex-pat. Here's all you need to know about Allie, our Canadian divemaster: she wears a diving hood with mouse ears and she carries a magnifying glass a la Sherlock Holmes. Her passion for marine creatures big and especially small is inspiring, a trait shared by all of our guides. And the creatures are amazing. Even the most unpromising patch of rubble in the Philippines can yield a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. For me, it was a flamboyant cuttlefish (Big shout out to divemaster Ruben, who seems to possess his own kind of marine mojo.)

After all the diving, retire to the bar above the dive shop and ask Syvel to mix you up a margarita on the rocks and gaze out at the beauty that is the Philippines.

How much did I love my experience at El Galleon? The minute I got home I started working out a plan to return next year.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Just returned from 8 days diving at El Galleon. Exceptional dive operation with easy access to sites and short boat rides. Customer service focus aparent throughout dive operation. Dive masters very experienced in this area (8+ years each).

We had an all inclusive package at the resort. Accomodations are comfortable. Not super fancy but very adequate. Food as prepared by their Corsican chef was very good. Overall hotel and meal service very friendly and consistently good.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maassluis
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Great resort with fantastic staff. Nice room with oceanview. Very good food and very cold beer at the bar.
Diving is very well organised with great staff. Healthy reefs with lots of fish and small critters. The Verde Island trip is a "must do".

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

This is a wonderful hotel where the staff are so happy and friendly and do everything possible to make you welcome. I stayed in the hotel with my husband and I dived every day as the diving is a hop and a skip away..... next door. My husband does not dive but found wandering the streets in Sabang, interesting and relaxing. He met me from the dives and shared a calamarie with me which is the local lemon drink. It is so pleasant and relaxing in the El Galleon I will definately be returning. We had a small room by the pool but those with a bigger budget could have an ocean view room up the steps which had a fantastic sea view.
My diving experience was fantastic with Ali Pete and Jamie. They work their socks off to help find large and small creatures in the sea. They are both knowledgeable and informative and always ready to help all abilities. Jerik, helps with loading the boats and getting equiptment ready and he is like your own personal valet. He is a treasure. I have been home for 6 hours and want to go straight back. Worth the long journey from England. Beverly and PaulChamberlain

Room Tip: Budget rooms are small, poolside rooms are small with a tv and the other rooms have sea views and ar...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

If you are coming to the Puerto Galera area to do some diving, surely El Galleon is the best place to stay: the staff are as efficient and nice as could be; the rooms are nice and in varied situations--some by the pleasant little pool, some budget ones out back, and some up the hill with superb ocean views; the landscaping is marvellous, shielding the whole place with leafy trees, palms, and softening the look of things with flowering shrubs everywhere you look; the area for eating or hanging out is broad, floored with terracotta tiles, partly in the open and partly beneath cover, should the weather demand it; the restaurant is quite good, though we typically chose to get out and about more in the evenings and usually had only the breakfast buffet; and the 'Point Bar' on the headland just a few steps away (and also owned by El Galleon) has got to have the best views (and the best Happy Hour!) for miles around.

But I mentioned diving, coming here to dive. . . . As one other reviewer has remarked, there is no sandy beach at this 'Beach Resort,' and you would be bitterly disappointed if you thought you could just walk out of your room and plunge into the sandy surf. Couples with small children to keep happy would probably be happier elsewhere, perhaps on Large Lalaguna. There is good sand in Large Lalaguna, and good snorkelling, too, which is the enclave just five minutes' walk around the headland to the west. Here in Small Lalaguna, the margins of the water are narrow, somewhat rocky; and you wouldn't want to swim here anyway because there are too many small boats coming and going. No. . . . If you want some beach time, just take yourself (and perhaps your mask and fins, for snorkelling) over to Large Lalaguna, or get a boat to Coco Beach. El Galleon and Small Lalaguna/Sabang are about diving.

El Galleon it is very closely affiliated with Asia Divers, the most professional, best organised and pleasant outfit down here. Alan, the principle owner of El Galleon, founded Asia Divers with Andy and Tommy back in 1987, and have had Dave with them for a great many years, which is just to say that the the group of them have had a successful, long-term commitment to building up this excellent business. Since we were last here in the late 1990's, they have built an attractive, massive wooden deck on which to sort out gear, etc., and from which to board the boats going out on dive trips (no more staggering over the coral rubble in the surf for me!). My wife and I first began diving with Asia Divers in 1991, and I wouldn't dream of giving anyone else in the area our business when it comes to diving. The full-time dive masters, who are all qualified instructors as well, I believe, are all really pleasant people who have been carefully vetted not just for their competence as divers but also for their personalities, their people skills--we grew particularly fond of Pete and Jamie, this time around. They help create a thoroughly pleasant atmosphere where everyone feels relaxed, safe, and ready to enjoy themselves. (Some dive masters I've come across elsewhere plan and execute dives like military campaigns, tell you off for going even a little astray, etc. With Asia Divers, you have a clear plan, but an easily modified one if the currents discomfit things, or the like. And the dive masters quickly get a sense of who might be better off going with this group or that group, when there are lots of divers around. I'm just saying that they are flexible in intelligent and helpful ways.) It's a good sign, I think, that the full-time dive masters/instructors, once they secure a position with Asia Divers, tend to stay for years.

What else can I say? We stayed for one night in a poolside room (#8) that we concluded was a bit dark for us on a relatively long stay and decided we would be happier climbing the hill and paying a bit more for an 'ocean view' room. We're so glad we did! What a great room, #25! Numbers 25 and 26 are perhaps the very best, though 15 might be just as good. And at the very top, looking in a different direction, towards Sabang, you have a nice set of rooms side by side that have contiguous balconies.

We will certainly come back to this lovely, friendly, comfortable place and do more diving with this excellent outfit.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel

Address: Small Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mindoro > Oriental Mindoro Province > Puerto Galera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 51 Hotels in Puerto Galera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned for its serene and quaint beachfront surroundings fronting Small La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Asia Divers and El Galleon Beach Resort and have thirty air-conditioned rooms that blend into the tropical hillside. Majestic views of Sabang Bay and Small Lalaguna Beach, with a restaurant which extends to the water’s edge offering a great value in European and local cuisine, a small pool for learning how to dive, spa, and all the hotel amenities and necessities one needs to totally enjoy his/her stay. The dive facility is less than a year old and there is nothing like it in Asia! We have a diving platform with a large pontoon where boats can easily dock making it easy for guests to get on and off the boats. Divers have their own crate for storage in a spacious area, a dedicated camera room; you are well looked after by the crew who are there to help you with anything you may need. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Galleon Beach Hotel Puerto Galera
El Galleon Beach Resort And Hotel

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